Another Day, Another Buckazoid

18th June 2021 | Writing

This piece of poor prose is inspired by an idea posed by the Space Quest Historian: What was the Sarien guard doing who was standing outside the laundry room on the Deltaur?

Another day, another buckazoid...

Fooblat licked his lips again, mostly out of boredom, but also because they were so dry. The Deltaur's air circulation system pushing around stale air through the ship didn't much help either.

Not seeing anyone else in the hallway, the Sarien dared to remove his hand from his holstered Pulseray and patted around his pockets for any Bert's Labion Bees lip balm...nothing. The only thing he had in his pocket was a badge displaying his name and the desultory word "Temp" in bright red letters. As one of the "inferior" Red Badges, he fully expected the full-time Blue Badge employees to spit on him first before bothering to talk to him. He was only here because he needed the money. The temp job was almost up, and once they made shore, he was going to hop off this place like a tick leaping off a drowning Hipoglopus.

Standing in front of the Emergency Exit was where he had been stationed today. And it was locked. What in the name of the seven suns was the point of guarding a LOCKED FREAKING DOOR?! Fooblat sighed heavily and then shifted his weight from one leg to another to prevent them from falling asleep. This shift was terminally boring, which had reduced his mind to the consistency of mucus from an Antarean Slime Devil. He couldn't wait for this shift to finish so he could get back to playing some video games.

The door to his right unexpectedly swiped open and another guard exited the laundry room. Fooblat straighted up, doing his best to look alert and professional. He stared straight forward, hoping that the newcomer would ignore him. As one of those "lowly" temps, the regular crew had taken immeasurable delight in teasing and taunting the Red Badges.

"Got a light?" came an unexpected question.

Not expecting the odd question, a flustered Fooblat picked out the first random response swimming around in the non-liquified bits of his brain. "Sorry, don't drink."

The response didn't seem to do anything to deter the newcomer. The other Sarien continued on with a variety of questions and random dialog. Fooblat tried his best to sound disinterested, hoping this annoying visitor would go away.

"Is this the way to the Star Generator?"

"Don't ask me, I just work here," Fooblat responded, trying to be as unhelpful as possible.

Fooblat finally dared to glance at the other Sarien, who was still wearing his helmet indoors. Who was this, anyway? Butston? Loplatz? Who knew, Sariens all looked the same with their helmets on. Still, it piqued his curiosity. "Hey bud, what's with the helmet indoors?"

"Ssshh!" the other guard exclaimed. "I'm hiding from the boss."

"Oh," Fooblat said dimly, futilely trying to grasp this round bit of logic. "That makes sense, I guess."

The mystery guard continued his litany of inane questions. At one point, Fooblat swore the other Sarien was leaning in to kiss him. But with THESE dry lips?! Fortunately nothing came of it besides his startled imagination and more dull conversation. Just as he was about to make good use of the Pulseray to bore an extra orifice into the chatty guard's skull, he was finally asked something interesting.

"Have you played King's Quest III?"

Fooblat's eyes opened wide with delighted surprise. "Yes," he happily responded. "I just bought it last week. It was on sale for 128,000 Buckazoids at Tiny's Holodisk Shop. What a bargain!!!"

Radio Shock had already been sold out of the game, so he was glad he was able to still procure a copy at Tiny's. He tried to engage the guard further about the game, but apparently he had only spent the time doing chores for the evil wizard. Fooblat got an odd impression that this other Sarien secretly enjoyed sweeping and emptying chamber pots.

Eventually, a dull silence uncomfortably wedged itself between them. Fooblat returned to staring at the opposite wall, counting down the microseconds until his shift was over.

"Well," the other guard said, rudely interrupting the blissful silence. "I'm off to find the little boys room."

Fooblat heaved another sigh once the other guard left. If his boss had caught him chatting with another guard, he would have gotten yelled at again. Damn Blue Badges with their smugness and steady paychecks.

His mind returned back to a state of thick, primordial soup, the only singular thought being that of getting back to King's Quest III after his shift. He knew there must be a key for that locked cabinet in the wizard's study — but where?

He checked the time and frowned. It was already past his shift and his replacement hadn't shown up yet. Typical. Never could trust another Sarien to show up on time. This was digging into his precious game time. He frowned again in continued annoyance. This temp job would be done in two days, and then, goodbye Deltaur!

Fooblat frowned for the third time in as many minutes. Still no replacement. Screw it. He was done with his shift. There were plenty of other guards to patrol the ship.

Besides, it's not like anyone was going to use this Emergency Exit...